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Three-quarters of people can’t define asexuality

Lydia Smith February 4, 2019
The a is for asexual

1.7 percent of sexual minority people in the US identify as asexual. (Robert Perry/ Getty)

Three-quarters of people can’t define asexuality, according to a survey by Sky News.

The poll asked UK adults how confident, if at all, they would be in defining asexuality.

Of the 1,119 people questioned, 53 percent said they were confident in explaining the term.

However, when they were put to the test 75 percent were either wrong or did not know that asexual people do experience a sex drive.

An estimated 1 percent of the population are asexual.

According to Stonewall, an asexual person is defined as someone who does not experience sexual attraction.

However, there is a large amount of diversity among the asexual community, as there is among all LGBT+ communities.

Each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction and arousal differently and asexuality is a word that asexual people use to help identify and describe themselves.

Asexual pride flag (Creative Commons)

What is asexuality?

According to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (ASEN), asexuality is an intrinsic part of who a person is, like any other sexual orientation.

The organisation describes an asexual person as someone who “does not experience sexual attraction”, meaning they are not drawn to people sexually and “do not desire to act upon attraction to others in a sexual way.”

A lack of information about asexuality means there are lots of misconceptions about it.

AVEN (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network) explains: “Unlike celibacy, which is a choice, asexuality is a sexual orientation.

“Asexual people have the same emotional needs as everybody else and are just as capable of forming intimate relationships.”

Dr Michael Yates, clinical psychologist specialising in sexual health, told Sky: “Sexual attraction is a motivation to engage in sexual activities with another person. It is possible to still have a sexual drive, but for that not to be directed at another person.

“For some asexual people, they may still have sexual feelings, they may masturbate, but that won’t be associated with fantasy or a desire to have sex with somebody else.”

Dr Yates said: “Having low sexual desire usually means that at some point in your life you’ve felt sexual feelings. But for some reason you are not experiencing sexual attraction to your partner or other people at this point in time.”

More: asexual, Asexuality, sexual orientation

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